When I was first diagnosed with hypothyroidism about 15 years ago, I thought that I would be prescribed a medication called Synthroid, and that all the symptoms would go away and I would be my healthy self again. That is what the doctor said, anyhow.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t how it turned out. The symptoms not only continued, but they kept getting worse. I went to see a second doctor. My blood work looked normal, and that doctor had nothing more to add. I visited a third doctor; still, no help.
A friend recommended a holistic practitioner that she was seeing. Insurance didn’t cover this option, and my first thought was that it would be too expensive. My husband retorted that there was no science to prove what this person was suggesting would work. The doctors even made fun of the holistic practitioner and clearly suggested that I not see her. What was I to do?
Reflecting on my experience at the time, I have since come to the conclusion that there are four choices we have when confronting a problem: Stay the Same, Lay the Blame, Choose to Reframe, or Change the Game. Let me explain these in greater detail.
1. Stay the Same
As I struggled to feel better after being diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I found that even after visiting numerous doctors, I was not able to find a solution to the serious symptoms of my condition.
I kept doing the same thing over and over, visiting one endocrinologist after another, and getting the same results. They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, and that is exactly what staying the same got me – insanity! Insanity and progressively worse health!
2. Lay the Blame
The thing is, if we ‘Stay the Same’ too long, we eventually drive ourselves into a ‘Lay the Blame’ mode. I started to blame my doctors for not having a clue how to help me. I started to blame the insurance companies for not covering holistic care. I even blamed the insurance companies for making alternative options “expensive”.
Then I blamed my husband for not being open-minded when expensive studies had not proven holistic methods to his satisfaction, and the satisfaction of the mainstream healthcare industry.
But, in the end, I wasn’t getting any better by blaming; in fact, it made me feel worse because I felt stuck and hopeless.
3. Choose to Reframe
After recognizing I wasn’t getting anywhere, I decided to reframe some of my thoughts. I may have to pay for holistic care out of my own pocket, I reasoned, but what was the future cost of not changing tack? I KNOW that not changing anything is making me worse. If there is a possibility of getting better, will that money be funds well spent? Will it feel so expensive if I get results? And how will I feel if I don’t even try?
And, what about that science? Do I need multi-million dollar studies to know if a solution helps me or not? If I try a solution and it helps me, then it works for me; I’m a study of one. If I try something and it doesn’t help, it doesn’t work for me. I just wanted to make sure I did my own research to make sure that any new approaches weren’t going to hurt me.
And what about the approval of the doctors? They literally laughed at the mention of holistic practitioners. Yet, they sure didn’t have a solution, so their ridicule really couldn’t be taken seriously.
4. Change the Game
After a lot of contemplation, research, and negotiation with my husband, I chose to change what I was doing. I dived in and tried many holistic methods, and I’ve never looked back. Some helped, others didn’t. But, I’m happy to say that one by one, the many debilitating symptoms of my subsequent diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Disease are going away!
I still rely on my doctor to prescribe the medication to keep my thyroid levels normal, adjusting the dose rate as holistic methods improve my thyroid health. That is what doctors trained in Western Medicine are good at. But, I’ve learned that by changing my thoughts and then changing my behavior, and exploring something new that I may not understand completely, I can come to new solutions to problems.
Taking up the challenge
So, how about you? Do you have a problem that you are struggling with, and having difficulty resolving? Are you Staying the Same or Laying the Blame? Is there a way you can Choose to Reframe in order to Change the Game?